Today, after much reading and re-reading of sci-fi and magic-related books, I’m giving a shout-out to two books that focus on the needs and yearnings of the heart. Granted, they do both have a sort of magical-realism twinge, and the first has ghosts (the second has a ghost, too, of a more theoretical nature). But pure and simple, they are books about missing someone (a dad) and all the ways that missing manifests in the mundane details of a life that continues on nevertheless.
Ada and I both recently polished off Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver:
which has a lot of the trappings of a classically unfortunate fairy tale (evil stepmother, anyone?) and yet, none of the obviousness, thanks to Oliver’s elegant and heartfelt language.
Quite some time ago, I read Lulu Atlantis and the Quest for True Blue Love by Patricia Martin aloud to Ada:
And while a lot of the theme (father gone missing, strange but sweet encounters that somehow evoke said missing father) eluded her at the time, I remember how entranced she was by the language and the feeling of the book. Which I am remembering myself even now, many years later. I’m not sure I can think of any higher praise.